Mata At The Heart Of A Good Week For Chelsea

After conceding a rather embarrassing goal a mere 14 seconds into last Sunday’s match against Southampton, Chelsea actually rallied themselves to quite a thrilling 3-1 victory over the saints. Once again, after quite a rocky start, when it seemed all but lost, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten record at Stamford Bridge will live to see another day.

The match was never meant to be an easy one, Southampton has been surprising all season, but, however, no one expected that the blues would concede a goal that quickly. Due to a defensive mistake, and a bit of luck I’m sure, once Chelsea were down, they really pulled together and played quite an entertaining match.

 Perhaps my favourite part of Sunday’s match was the line up. Chelsea fans everywhere alike have all been waiting for the return of mid fielder Juan Mata. A normal fixture for a majority of matches since he signed for the blues in 2011, Mata has struggled to find a place in the first team since the arrival of JoseMourinho. Always a fan favourite, it was very unclear as to why the Spanish playmaker wasn’t getting the playing time that he deserved this season.

I’ve even written about it numerous times, it just bothered me. It was so difficult to understand why such a top class player was wasting away on the bench. But on Sunday, Mata got his chance and as excited as I was to see him in the line-up I immediately became extremely nervous, this was his chance to show Mourinho what he is capable of.

 He needed to prove to everyone that he was deserving of a first team place, and he did just that. Mata played exceptionally well, in fact, both goals were the result of his playmaking. Hopefully this was a sign to Mourinho that even with an absence from play for a while, Mata is the type of quality player that needs to be utilized so much more. 

With this win, coupled with an embarrassing Liverpool loss to Hull City and the thrilling 4-3 victory over Sunderland last night, Chelsea are in a pretty comfortable second place in the English premier league, first place Arsenal is four points ahead, while third place Liverpool is two points behind. 

But, the moral of this story is that change can sometimes be a good thing. After an embarrassing loss in the Champions League, it was evident something needed to be tweaked in the Chelsea line up to have a more consistent playing style. Mixing up the midfield this match with the addition of Mata as well as Michael Essien was a refreshing change that worked out well for Mourinho and the blues. 

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